Tuesday, April 4, 2017

April Newsletter

April 1, 2017 -- Pedersen Family Newsletter

From Laura, 18 … I have had the joy this year of experiencing teaching piano for the first time!  It's something I've wanted to try my hand at for probably over a year, but I had no students until just a few months ago.  My first experience with a beginner was with the woman who came to live with us just after the first of the year.  She quickly showed an interest in learning to read music and play an instrument, so I gave her free piano lessons throughout the duration of her stay.  It was very beneficial for me as the teacher as I learned a lot about the process of learning for someone just starting out.  Then, just over a month ago, I was approached by a dear friend who wanted to use me to provide piano lessons for his grandson!  I was honored by the request and the trust he put in me and my ability.  Now that we've had a couple of lessons, I am thoroughly convinced that teaching is one of the greatest blessings.  The thrill I get from seeing him progress and knowing that it's me who has helped him get there compares to nothing else I have experienced.

From Becca, 20 … For my last week or so in Costa Rica I got to be with my friend Caro and her mom and Grandma.  Our gracious hosts, the Ramirez family, took us all on a road trip to see some other parts of Costa Rica.  We got to ride a zip line high above the river and we went to a beautiful beach with black sand and crystal clear water.  I rode a horse and milked a cow for the first time.

It was so hard to leave at the end of the month.  I felt torn in two because, while I wanted to see my family, I wasn’t ready to leave Costa Rica.  I didn’t know I could feel so at home in a place that was so different from my home.  Praise God for the body of Christ that gives us family in all the countries of the world!

From Seth, 24 … In January I started working a couple of hours a week as a mechanic at the on-campus bicycle shop.  It's been a blast interacting with customers, getting greasy, and working with my hands.  Fixing bikes makes for a good re-energizing break from desks and computer screens.

From Michael, Anna, and baby … We spent this weekend on a mini-vacation near Austin.  We stayed in a studio apartment right on Lake Travis, so we were able to enjoy a relaxing weekend eating on the patio, kayaking, walking by the lake, and enjoying sunset views.  The weather was perfect, and the lake was beautiful!  We were both glad to have some time away together.

The pregnancy continues to go well!  We're officially in the third trimester now, which is hard to believe.  It's still kind of surreal that there's a third person in our family now.

From John, Megan, James (5), Ezra (3), Joy (1), and baby … One of the exciting things in our life right now is that our small church is considering merging with an even smaller church.  We are two weeks into a six-week trial period of combined services, at the end of which we will have a vote to determine whether or not we will move forward.  We have been having a mixture of people from both churches over for dinner every weekend to get to know them better and facilitate the same for others.  It's been a great blessing to expand our circle of fellowship and to share life with a new group of people who are also living for the gospel.

Otherwise, our life hasn't had any major changes in the last month.  Joy is starting to say a few recognizable words.  Ezra is enjoying doing a little bit of preschool and learning his numbers.  James is enjoying knowing how to read.  Megan's pregnancy is going well, but she is very ready to have the baby on the outside.  I'm continuing to get new knowledge, skills, and responsibilities at work.

From Ray, Katie, Peter (7), Samuel (5), Andrew (4), Grace (2), and Benjamin (1) … 
We enjoyed a visit from Ray's dad in late February, with lots of games, stories, and playing outside, plus a tour of the Houston Ship Channel.

We were blessed to find an excellent new eye doctor for Benjamin, and a good plan for treating his lazy eye.

In school, Samuel was excited to discover that he can now read his name (Sam). Peter is excited about starting to learn to play the piano.

From Judith … The woman we took in at the beginning of the year has moved on.  We saw many “red flags” in the new situation she went into, but she was convinced it was God’s provision.  She was with us for two months, during which time seeds of biblical truth were planted.  God used her time with us to provide many blessed conversations about the truths of the Bible.  There were also sweet moments when visiting grandchildren heard some of those conversations at our table during family worship.  We have no regrets.  Her stay with us wasn’t about her or about us.  It was about following the path God had placed in front of us for his purposes and for his glory.  We leave the outcome to him.

By God’s sovereignty, I’ve not been sick very often in my life.  (I’ve had “structural” problems, but not “germy” problems.)  Well, last month I was given the opportunity to grow in my sympathy for those who suffer with frequent or constant illness.  I was knocked off my feet by a full-blown case of influenza for a few weeks.  My dad had a lot of physical suffering in his last years, so I thought of him when the flu gave me symptoms similar to his.  In the latter stage of my flu, I was nauseous for several days, which brought Anna and her severe morning sickness to mind.  I’ve almost fully regained my strength now and am grateful for how God uses difficult times for my good.


From Gerald … I recently had the opportunity to teach God’s principles related to money.  Our pastors asked me to teach a Sunday school series, so I spent three Sundays teaching the Biblical principles and a Saturday morning follow-up with practical applications.  It has been over a year since I have taught any of this material; it was rewarding to do it again.